Abu Dhabi: Just after COVID, when the whole world was overhauling, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took this opportunity to attract the world’s best talent and investments in business, real estate.
On the same lines, the UAE introduced many amendments to the United Arab Emirates immigration policy which came into effect on October 3 last year to become the immigration centre of the world.
The pattern of migration in the UAE cities has shifted dramatically since the COVID pandemic. Citizens from almost 200 nations have settled in the United Arab Emirates to date. It is projected to rise much more in the following years.
The number of Indians in these areas has expanded dramatically since the COVID pandemic. Currently, Indians constitute 38% of the UAE’s population with a figure of more than 3.8 million.
The major attraction for Indian immigrants to the UAE is the ease in government policies, good political and cultural relations, proximity to the home country with a handsome income, and returns against investment.
The newly introduced Golden Visa by the local government played a golden role in taking the edge over other countries to pull in talent and with these new talents, the UAE is changing its image from just oil and luxury to a centre of innovation and technology, a hub for start-ups, champion of sustainability and of tolerance and coexistence.
Why the Golden Visa is popular among Indians
Investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes are among those eligible for the Golden Visa.
Golden Visa allows you to reside in the UAE for 10 years (previously, five years). The visa, which can be used as an entry visa for six months as well, can be renewed on expiry. Sponsor family members, including spouses and children regardless of their age, and sponsor unlimited support services.
Unlike other Gulf countries, a golden visa holder can stay on in the UAE without the backing of a sponsor or employer. There is no restriction on the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE to keep the Golden Residence valid. Earlier, visa holders had to return to the UAE every six months if they travelled abroad but that rule has been done away with. If the original holder of the Golden Residence visa dies, his or her family members can now stay in the UAE until the permit expires.
Besides, entrepreneurs/investors can also get a 10-year residence visa by investing in a start-up in the UAE under the new laws. Scientists and researchers with high achievements and influence in their respective fields can get the Golden Visa.
The UAE government invites talent in the fields of coding, medicine, and education and provides them golden visas, to make the UAE a coding and medical hub in the region.
Key changes under the UAE’s new immigration laws
Not only the golden visa but many new policies were also introduced by the local government. The five-year green visa is allowing foreigners to sponsor themselves without seeking help from UAE nationals or their employers. For this visa, freelancers, skilled workers, and investors are eligible. Green visa holders can also sponsor their family members.
Tourist visas will now allow visitors to stay in the UAE for 90 days. A five-year multi-entry tourist visa will allow visitors to stay in the UAE for up to 90 days in a row. The job exploration visa will allow professionals to seek employment in the UAE without a sponsor or host.
Impact of CEPA and healthy political and social relations
The historic India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that came into effect on May 1, 2022, is expected to increase the total value of bilateral trade in goods to over US $100 billion and trade in services to over US $ 15 billion within five years.
Indian companies can easily shift base to Dubai because the UAE now allows 100 per cent foreign ownership in 122 economic activities across 13 sectors. The zero-duty access to the UAE is working as a big incentive for Indian production houses in key domestic sectors to set up a base in the UAE.
Ease of doing business, good infrastructure, and tax benefits are prompting the Indian business community to shift their operations to the UAE.
Friendly relations between the UAE and India and coordination between the authorities in these countries are an assurance for investors that in case of any problem, their money and assets will be in safe hands. The geographical distance between India and the UAE and the huge number of flights between these two countries are other reasons, which give mental peace to migrants.
Real Estate Market Boom for Investors
The sliding prices post COVID-19 too have brought a cross-section of businesspeople and professionals to show interest. Dubai is still a buyers’ market, with housing affordability remaining attractive over the last couple of years.
With an investment of AED 2 million, investors can get a golden visa. The Golden Visa route has increased the demand for luxury residences and properties in the UAE and made the UAE a second home for Indian nationals. The recent overhaul of the Golden visa scheme has increased demand for properties in Dubai among wealthy Indians.
With a tweak of the Golden Visa rules, Dubai has seen an unprecedented spike in real estate demand. Indians are on top of the Russians in the list in terms of buying properties in Dubai.
Under the new rules, the investment limit has been lowered from the previous high of AED 5 million (INR 10.4 crore) to AED 2 million (INR 4.2 crore). This drastic cut has prompted a huge spike in real estate demand in Dubai and rich Indians are on a property-buying spree there.
Rental income: Other than the Golden Visa, from the investors’ point of view Dubai offers average rental yields of 7 per cent compared to New York (2.8 per cent), Singapore (2.5 per cent), London (2.6 per cent), and Hong Kong (2.3 per cent).
For foreign investors, the Dubai real estate market is highly regulated. Investors are protected by, and the developers are accountable to, a strictly implemented Real Estate Regulation Authority.
RBI makes remittances easier
The liberated remittance scheme of the Reserve Bank of India allows an Indian investor to officially transfer $250,000 to Dubai every financial year. Under this scheme, a couple can transfer $500,000 each year which can be used as real estate investment in Dubai.
Indian investors accounted for 20 per cent of all property transactions in Dubai in the first quarter of 2023, investing close to $2 billion during the period, industry insiders said.
(Except for the headline, the story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)